They angered the Lord at the waters of Meribah, and Moses suffered because of them; (vs. 32) for they embittered [angry or unhappy] his spirit and he spoke bad with his lips (vs. 33).
They did not destroy the people as the Lord had commanded them (vs. 34).
But they mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. They mingled with the nations and adopted their ways (vs. 35).
Israel constantly turned from their provider and protector [God]. They worshiped idols of the land, after seeing God’s great miracles, power, and word. They sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, and shed innocent blood unto the idol gods of Canaan and the land was bloody.
The people were wickedly and demonically controlled and the people worshiped devils [demons]. They defiled themselves by their actions and prostituted themselves by their deeds.
The following passages reference Leviticus 18:24.
Do not defile yourselves by any of these practices, for the nations I am driving out before you have defiled themselves by all these things.
- Sexual relations with close relatives.
- Committing adultery
- Offering children as sacrifices
- Homosexual relations
- Sexual relations with animals
All these practices were common in pagan religions, and it is easy to see why God dealt harshly with those who began to follow them. These practices lead to disease and death.
“Therefore the Lord’s anger burned against his people and He abhorred [hated] his own inheritance,” Psalm 106:40.
Why does God allow His people to be disciplined/ruled by pagan forces?
The following references are from Psalm 106:41.
“And God gave them [Israelites] into the hand of the heathens [Canaanites]; and they hated them and ruled over them. Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their power. Their enemies oppressed them, trouble followed them, and will kept them in the wilderness until a new generation could grow up and carry out God’s will.
God will discipline us to humble us; wean us, and drive us back to Him, allow us to experience more of His faithfulness to us, make us more dependent upon Him, and encourage us to submit to His purpose for our lives.
Many times God delivered them, but they provoked the Lord with their ways. They continued to rebel deliberately and were beaten low for their iniquity [iniquity: their wickedness, sinfulness, immorality, evil, and ungodliness].
The Israelites greatest sin was idolatry. The anger of God was on them because they wanted to be like the other nations. ‘We need a king so we can be like all the rest.’ What they needed instead was a king who would lead them to keep the covenant of God.
‘You broke the commandments, you followed other gods, and did not keep my covenant.’
When He heard their cry, He did not help them. He regarded [consider, look on viewed] their afflictions.
God remembered for them His covenant and His faithful love. He chose Canaan as the promised land, and yet they did not believe in Him. Now because they are pitied [marked], they cry out: ‘Save us, Lord our God, and gather us from the heathen nations, so that we may give thanks to your holy name and rejoice in your praise.’
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Let all the people say, amen!
What choice will you make in following God? How great is your view?